A beleaguered president seeks re-election. His challenger, a candidate with Massachusetts roots and a presidential demeanor straight out of central casting, has to fight through a primary contest fending off charges of flip-flopping. In the end, the challenger’s strength also proves his vulnerability.
Election 2012 is looking a lot like the presidential race of 2004.
Democrats in and around President Barack Obama’s campaign are preparing to run against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — the man they believe likely to emerge from the Republican contest — by borrowing from the playbook George W. Bush and Republicans used to defeat Sen. John Kerry seven years ago.
As candidates, Kerry and Romney are remarkably similar. Both are wealthy men, products of Massachusetts politics, eloquent on the stump but perceived as remote or aloof on the campaign circuit.